Challenges Facing Women in Household Food Production in Kipipiri Sub-county, Nyandarua County
Women make a significant contribution in household food production. In developing countries, they have been reported to have very high workload in food production compared to men and in ownership to resources and decision making power they are often subordinate to men. This study aimed at exploring the socio-cultural and economic challenges facing women in household food production in Kipipiri Sub-County. A cross-sectional descriptive design combining of both qualitative and quantitative method was used to collect data from 100 women farmers in the sub-county. Quantitative data was collected through questionnaire administered to women farmers in Kipipiri Sub-County while qualitative data was collected through focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Result from the study showed that both men and women participated in agricultural activities but women spent more hours in the field than men. Women produced much of the labour required for food production and participated in all farm activities. Results from the study show that women face socio-cultural and economic barriers that limit their capacity for food production. The study revealed that culture did not allow women to own resources such as land or livestock, further more they were responsible for all the domestic work and this coupled with farm activities, the heavy workload limited their capacity for food production. In decision making, most decisions were made by husbands or fathers. Only women from single headed household indicated having made decisions alone. In addition women in the County reported that limited access to credit and increase in costs of farm inputs was a challenge to household food production. This was mostly due to lack of resources such as land that could be used as collateral to obtain credit. Poverty also limited their ability to purchase farm input such as fertilizer and to hire extra labour. Based on the findings, the study concludes that Gender inequalities throughout the chain of food production have impeded on the achievement of household food security in the Sub-County. The study recommends that interventions should target women and empower them in terms of education and capacity building as this will increase their decision making power and improve their security status.
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